Another way to balance your dissertation work and intimate relationships is to get really, really good at communicating. The more you can explain what you’re doing, why you’re busy, and about how long it will be until you can take a break- the better. No one, no matter how much they love you, can read your mind indefinitely. No one, no matter how much they love you, can put up with uncertainty and stress for too long, without knowing there is an end in sight. The better you get at communicating where you are, how you’re feeling, and what’s going on, the smoother your relationships- all of them- will run. This is a good tip for the dissertation, and for life.